3 pets killed in Southside house fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A fire Saturday afternoon on Jacksonville's Southside took the lives of two cats and a dog.

The owners of the home are OK and were not home at the time the fire started around 1:30 p.m. on Provost Road East. Neighbors say they noticed smoke and when they went around towards the back of the house they saw how bad it was and called 911.

The family who lives in the home did not want to talk, but a neighbor who called 911 told News4Jax what happened.

"The windows in the back were busting out. So we said no. We just backed off and called the Fire Department. All the while we could hear a dog barking from inside. We were going to kick in the door, and get the dog but got scared because we were afraid it would create an air draft and the whole house would go up," John Shea said.

Shea says by the time fire crews got to the home, it was too late.

"Pets are like kids, you know. If you've got a pet you've had for several years, you don't think of it as a pet, you think of it as part of your family. And it's bad. It's bad," Shea said.

The fire briefly spread to another home, but fire fighters were able to put that out quickly.

It's unclear how the fire started. The fire marshal is investigating the cause.